Northwest Native: May 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday of a Five-Day Weekend

Happy Friday! My weekend started last night with a drive down to my parents' place! I'm sure today will be filled with shower prep and house prep for all the out of town guests coming. As per usual, I'm linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favorites!


Number One: Summer Scents

The bride gave us bridesmaids these Bath & Body Works items as our bridesmaids gifts (I briefly discussed the wedding here)! I haven't bought anything from BBW in a long time, even though I always love their scents. It's mostly a frugality thing, I generally buy cheap lotions from Target or the grocery store. But it was a delightful gift to receive and smells so summery!

Number Two: Switchin' it up!

As I said here, I am super low maintenance with my hair. It's styled the same all the time. Down, straight (but not straightened) or maybe in a ponytail if I can't make it look decent. I was reading posts from the favorite hair products link-up, and a lot of bloggers mentioned the Not Your Mother's Sea Salt Spray. I actually bought this a while back after I liked the NYM dry shampoo. I used it once and it just made my hair heavier and made it feel gross. But since everyone loved it, I decided to try again!
*Oh man do I hate taking selfies. I have a different smile for selfies of just me than I do for selfies with other people in them...my solo selfie smile says, "Oh my gosh this is so unnatural please be over now." Also, yes I put a filter on this picture because the fluorescent lighting at work (yeah I took a selfie at my desk, who's asking?) is not the most flattering.
I feel like the point of this product is just to spray it in wet hair, maybe scrunch it a little, and then it air dries amazingly. Well, it took me more effort. I showered at night, sprayed it on my damp hair, and put my hair in two buns. I woke up in the morning, hair sprayed the buns for good measure and kept them in as long as I could. When I took them out, I scrunched and hair sprayed some more. Honestly, I think what made the waves was the buns and the hair spray...not sure if I really even needed the sea salt spray. But switching up my hair style is a favorite! My boss and Michael both complimented me on it and I said to both of them, "I kind of feel like a cocker spaniel." Michael said it's nice to see it switched up every once in a while (it must've been crazy for him to see my hair straight, in an updo, and wavy all in the span of a couple days--way more variety than he's used to!).

Number Three: Waterfront Living

The Seattle waterfront is gorgeous. I'm fortunate enough to live just a couple blocks up from it. Seeing this view on my commute home every day definitely doesn't suck (it's even better when a ferry is going by!).
Don't just take my word for it, check out who ranked number one on this list of most beautiful commutes here! My friend/bridesmaid who lives in Madison, WI (ranked second!) sent me the link to that last night, and when I saw it I knew it would go perfectly with this favorite.

Number Four: Blogger Love!

I was just reading the blogs I follow one day, minding my own business, when I saw that Sammy at The Happy Chalkboard featured me in a roundup of her favorite blogs (here)! I wrestled with the idea of starting a blog. I didn't think I'd ever be able to think of things to write about! So for someone to consider my little blog one of their favorites is an honor! Sammy's blog is one of my favorites too! She's very real and genuine and her posts are always uplifting and positive. I really want to make a bad day box like she did, I think that's such a fun idea! Go check out her blog, and some of her other favorite blogs featured (I already read some of them before reading her post, and some of the ones I wasn't already reading got a follow from me!).

Number Five: Extreme Weight Loss

You guys...I LOVE this show. It's just so good. I mentioned yesterday that it's the only reality show I watch. The people on the show are always so strong. It's incredible what they accomplish in a year! They also usually have faced some sort of adversity earlier in life (often heart wrenching stories), so you're pulling for them even more. I don't even know how to explain why I like it so much, but it really draws me in.
source

Number Six: Cold Brew

Oh my gosh you guys. I don't know if you have a Tully's near you, but if you do, go and order the sweet brew (if you go to their website and sign up for emails, you get $1 off your next grande or veinte drink)! Michael and I went on Monday and he ordered the sweet brew and I ordered a vanilla latte...after trying his I immediately regretted my decision. It was seriously so good! It got Michael obsessed with cold brewing coffee, so he did it at home! It's the best. We had some to drink at the beginning of our road trip last night to keep us awake!

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

-Mattie

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Meal Prep & Bridal Showers & Outfits, Oh My!

It's the last Wednesday of the month, Since Fran emailed that her budget link-up was going live on Wednesday (and I had originally planned for Thursday), I had to choose which post to do on the right day! I opted for budget, so you get my What's Up Wednesday on a Thursday! I'm linking up with Shaeffer, Shay, and Mel! And I'm actually going to answer all of the questions instead of just one unlike last time. :)
Sorry if the formatting is off in this post...I keep changing the font size to the one I want but preview shows it as smaller for some sections. Maybe when it's published it won't be all messed up, but I'm not sure! (If it is still messed up, does anyone know how to fix it?! It doesn't make sense! I change both the size and format, but it doesn't do anything!)

 What we're eating this week

I mentioned Tuesday that we decided to meal prep for the first time this week. I've wanted to for a long time, but it seemed like a lot of work. Michael sent me an article (I wish I could find the link, but I can't!) and the author was talking about his or her $2.50 lunches (we did the math, ours are less than $2 each!), and compared to going out for lunch every day (we never go out for lunch on work days anyway) calculated how much money they had saved over x amount of years. Their formula was a protein, a grain, and a veggie or two. We went with chicken, whole wheat couscous from Trader Joe's, corn and onions in half, and kale and onions in the other half. We also bought a few low calorie sauces and some sun dried tomatoes which can be used as toppings to add variety.
 I'm way too excited about this. Usually I make a sandwich when I come home, and I'm happy to be able to just grab something already prepped!
 

What I'm reminiscing about

My bridal shower and bachelorette party are this weekend so I'm reminiscing about my relationship with Michael! I can't believe the wedding is in less than five months. After knowing each other for almost six years, being officially together for almost three, and being engaged for over two, there are a lot of memories.
This is our first picture together, ever. Yes it's a weird angle and Michael put this filter on it for some reason.
 Eating giant hot dogs covered in bacon at a Sounders game.
 At the top of the Space Needle on my 23rd birthday.

What I'm loving

I'm loving finding more and more great blogs to read! Before I started blogging, I read five blogs every day, and occasionally would check out others if they were featured or something. Now I like to go to link-ups and check out a lot of the posts, plus I follow a lot more bloggers than I used to. The downfall is all the cute stuff they post when you're on a shopping ban.
 

What I've been up to

Working, running, blogging, getting wedding invitations ordered (!), not shopping (at least not buying anything, if you read my budget post yesterday, you know that I broke the shopping ban--oops!).

What I'm dreading

Working all day today! We're headed to my parents' after work tonight, and I'm working ten hours, so I just know the day will drag because it's extra long and because I'll be looking forward to starting my (five day) weekend!

What I'm excited about

This weekend! All eight of my bridesmaids are able to make it (four of them have to fly in from out of state) and I'm excited to see all of them and that they get to meet each other before the wedding weekend.

What I'm watching/reading

I recently discussed what I'm watching here, and nothing has really changed. We still watch Friends in bed before we go to sleep and we don't have any shows currently airing on TV or any other Netflix shows that we watch together. On days when I work at 8 and Michael works at 7, I usually watch an episode of whatever I'm watching on Netflix after he leaves while I do my makeup. Currently, that's Pretty Little Liars (yes, I know...). But two weeks ago I was working early, last week he was working at 7:45, and this week I'm working early again, so it just hasn't happened. I'm glad I decided to post this on Thursday instead of Wednesday because Extreme Weight Loss came back on Tuesday and we recorded it and watched it last night. I am obsessed with this show. It's the only reality show I watch. When the last season ended, Michael and I searched for a good substitute on Netflix or On Demand. (Biggest Loser doesn't work since it's a season-long competition; each episode of Extreme Weight Loss is a new person or pair, so it's a totally different dynamic.)
 Popcorn and PLL (no, I was not eating popcorn for breakfast--this was a rare time I watched in the evening).
I'm currently reading Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty. It's my second book by her and I'm liking it, but finding it a lot more predictable than What Alice Forgot. I plan to read all of her books.
 

What I'm listening to

I included these three songs in my Friday Favorites last week! These are three of my faves right now.
Shut Up And Dance by Walk The Moon
Want To Want Me by Jason Derulo
Best Fake Smile by James Bay

What I'm wearing

And these are some of my favorite outfits from this month.
 Three different days, three different maxi looks.

 I felt fierce in this outfit (and I feel like a dork saying fierce). Red, black, and strappy, high, skinny, leopard print heels? Hardcore. Plus I love my new lariat necklace (been wanting one for a long time!) and I especially love how it looks with this black dress. I will always pair gold jewelry with black. I love them together.

 I loved how springy this look was. // I liked this look, but it would've been even better with white pants!

What I'm doing this weekend

Not to beat a dead horse, but, it's my bridal shower/bachelorette weekend!

What I'm looking forward to next month

Lots of free weekends, warm weather, and getting wedding invitations sent out!

What else is new

I hate this question! Even when I haven't just told my whole life story leading up to it, I can never think of anything to say. So if you want to know what's new, go back and read the post again! :)

-Mattie

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Two for the price of one!

Last month's budget post was weak, I know! But it was also my fourth post ever, so I wasn't prepared to do a full-on detailed budget post. I'm going to do an overview of my April budget now to make up for that pathetic performance. Linking up with Franish's Budgeting Bloggers!

Poshmark sales to date: $152.55
Plato's Closet sale: $34
Total budget: $186.55

April Budget
One // Two // Three
Four // Five // Six

One // Regularly $46 - $32.40 gift card = $13.60
Two // $38
Three // Regularly $29.94, on sale for $17 - 30% off code = $11.90
Four // Regularly $24.99 - $12.50 (buy one get one half off) - 5% red card discount = $11.88
*I actually ended up returning the full-price dress and the return was pro-rated so I should adjust this accordingly...but I'm cheating to stretch my budget. :)
Five // Regularly $26.94 - 30% off code = $18.86
Six // Regularly $39.94 - 30% off code = $27.96

Total spent: $122.20

$186.55 - $122.20 = $64.35

My budget coming into May was $64.35...and then I apparently said screw it and bought ALL THE THINGS.

May Budget
One // Two // Three
 Four // Five // Six

One // Regularly $22.99, on sale for $15 - buy one get one half off promo - 5% Red Card discount = $10.69
Two // Regularly $22.99, on sale for $15 - buy one get one half off promo - 5% Red Card discount = $10.69
Three // $18
Four // $25
*I'm not sure about this one. I originally ordered a necklace I wanted, but the next day that item was cancelled, so I had to speak to customer service to replace it with something else. We'll see how it looks! How it looks? HORRIBLE. It was way fitted up top but super drape-y at the bottom. And the neckline seemed weirdly high. I did NOT like it on me. RETURNED.
Five // $24 Also returned--I tried it on when I tried on the maxi skirt from April and I liked them together, but the one I ordered seemed to have very short straps and didn't fit right at all (weird since the one I tried on in store was the same size and fit well), plus the thin material and light color didn't work with my strapless bra. I also struggled with paying $24 for a pretty basic tank.
Six // $24.99 - 5% Red Card discount = $23.74

Total spent: $112.12 - $49 (returns) = $63.12

After the first two items, I went to Nordstrom during triple points to buy a strapless bra (wouldn't count towards my budget, more of a need than a want). Then the salesgirl asked if I wanted a credit card--I already had a debit card, but I wanted a credit card to be able to buy multiple sizes and return what doesn't fit later (and still have money in my bank account for things like, you know, food and rent). If you spend $100 the day you get the card, you get a $20 Nordstrom note, so I just went for it.

And I couldn't not order number six after I saw it on Pamela. The picture above is from Target's website (which honestly does nothing for me), but Pamela's post shows how bright and fun it is. I love the back and I love that it's something I wouldn't normally buy for myself (which has been the trend for spring and summer clothes for me this year!). I'm breaking out of my comfort zone and adding lots of dresses and bright colors!

And these next few items are also from May, but I decided to separate them because...I won a $100 gift card to Joe Fresh from a giveaway Shaeffer was hosting! I never win anything so that was super exciting. I had also never bought anything from Joe Fresh, so I was excited to try it out.
 One, Two, and Three here
 Four // Five // Six

One, Two, and Three // $14 each
Four // $16
Five // Regularly $49, on sale for $19.94
Six // $29

Total spent: $106.94 - $100 discount code = $6.94 + $8 shipping = $14.94

Yes, I bought four v-neck t-shirts. I live in v-necks most weekends, and I sometimes sneakily wear them to work too. I didn't have any of these colors yet. I'm nervous about the sizing on the bottoms, especially the skirt, since the shorts are drawstring. If either of them are too small, I'll probably just sell them on Poshmark. I was a little disappointed because shipping is free on orders of $50 or more, but not including discounts. I didn't actually have a gift card, it was a discount code that took off $100. So I was about $7 over and then I had to pay $8 shipping on top of that. Old Navy does free shipping at $50 too, but they honor the price before the discount code.

Welp, you may have read that I decided to impose a shopping ban for the rest of May/the month of June. It is May 22nd and I have failed. Unfortunately for me, I read A LOT of blogs (actually, the unfortunate part is my lack of self control) and a lot of bloggers give you the lowdown on sales. Thankfully, I found nothing I really wanted in Nordstrom's half yearly sale (retracted...apparently when I fail, I fail big! Keep reading to see my half yearly sale purchase). BUT Old Navy was my downfall. They were running a big sale and I saw these denim shorts. I need new denim shorts. One of my pairs are high-waisted and they are so short it's practically like wearing a diaper. So those need to go bye-bye.
 One // Two

One // $24.94, on sale for $15 - 25% off = $11.25
Two // $12.50, on sale for $6

Total spent: $17.25

Because of my weird pear-shaped body, I hate ordering bottoms online. I also haven't bought anything from Old Navy in numbered sizes in a long time. So I ordered three sizes (which put me at $45 before the code) and added this nude cami because it was $6, so I'd qualify for free shipping and I actually need/want a nude cami. Then Old Navy goes and plays this cruel joke on me. (I almost screen-shotted the whole thing, including my code...like those people who take pictures of their new credit cards and tweet them and then people spend all their money!)
So now I have to go buy more from Old Navy by June 6th.
*Then they cancelled my order due to a system error and I had to call to get it reinstated; anyway, they sent me a 20% off code for my troubles, SO I'm hoping it can be combined with their other discount codes AND my $20 off to save tons of money!

And speaking of breaking shopping bans...
 One // Two

I've been wanting a camo jacket for a while now (can't wear my denim jacket with blue jeans!) and both of these were included in the Nordstrom half yearly sale. I think I like option one more, but it only had three reviews (all five star) and option two had pictures uploaded and seventeen reviews. Anyway, I ordered a small and a medium in each jacket, so when they arrive I can decide on the style and size I like and return the others (see, this is why I needed wanted the credit card, I couldn't do this with the debit card!). I only decided to buy this after I returned the two tops from earlier in the post. Had I not made those returns, I would not have made this purchase.

Camo Jacket // $78 - on sale for $46.80 - $20 Nordstrom Note = $26.80

May GRAND TOTAL: $122.11

If you're playing along, I spent almost double my Poshmark budget this month, which is fine because I knew I couldn't sustain that forever! I'll have to implement a new budgeting strategy next month. It was fun while it lasted, Poshmark budget! I spent almost the exact same amount both months...so maybe $120 should be my monthly budget going forward?

So there you have it, my (extremely long-winded) April AND May budget!

Linking up with Astleigh for The Pick!

-Mattie

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Weekend Recap: Memorial Day Weekend!

This was an awesome, full weekend. First, I was obsessed with my outfit for work on Friday.
 Three of my favorite things: chambray top, white jeans, and leopard print (on the belt, I realize it's hard to tell)! These shoes are also a favorite of mine for spring and summer. I loved how neutral the outfit was but that the green on the shoes gave it a pop of color! (The purse does in the second picture too, but I didn't carry it all day at work, of course.)

Friday night we had a mini bachelorette celebration for the bride! We went to Paint the Town and painted ceramics. I painted a napkin holder because we don't have one, so it seemed practical. I wanted to paint a giant mug, but we already have so many mugs and we hardly even use them (our Keurig was recalled and we never sent it to them for cleaning so we can't use it--luckily I happen to know one of my shower gifts is a Keurig fancier than our very basic model). Ready to see my creation? I seriously have the same artistic skills I had at age three.
I was kind of going for Kate Spade-inspired...do you like the lopsided lines and the non-centered word? The maid of honor--the bride's sister--had some MAD skills and painted a rooster on a canister...I wish I had taken a picture because it was impressive! After painting, we got some food and a drink.

I had to be at a salon in downtown Edmonds (north of Seattle) at 9:30 on Saturday. I had never been to that part of Edmonds, but it was adorable! Such a small-town feel. It reminded me of Stars Hollow (from Gilmore Girls, in case you were wondering). I got there early and planned to get coffee with my extra time...but I panicked because I was seeing no cafes! Thankfully, after some walking, I stumbled upon a huge Starbucks in the middle of this quaint little city. (Gotta love Seattle--thanks for always having a Starbucks within reach!)
 That yellow house in the background is The Refinery Salon! I loved that it was in an old house. And I absolutely ADORED the ladies we worked with. Sarah was working with me at one point and said I'd look great as a redhead. I already have plenty of red tint in my hair, and in the sun it sometimes looks completely red. I totally trust her expertise and I'm wanting a hair change so I think I may make an appointment with her after our wedding and try out being a true ginger.

The whole day was just soo wonderful. I loved seeing how happy Kristin (the bride) was all day. Nothing phased her either. They realized they forgot to order napkins, she was calm. She told us we could pick our hairstyles or just let the stylists choose (we all let them choose...I don't know how many times I took a picture of a cut to a stylist and they told me I didn't want to do that...they know better than me!). Our bridesmaids dresses were totally simple and pretty. It wasn't hot, but the sun was out and it didn't rain! I just loved seeing how happy she and her husband were, since that will be Michael and I soon enough!
We took pictures at Edmonds City Park. During a time when I wasn't needed, I had my fellow bridesmaid Ali snap a picture of Michael and I on my phone.
The reception was at Edmonds Yacht Club. This was the head table, with a pretty awesome view behind it!
Another couple picture! I felt very old-Hollywood with my updo and pearls.

On Sunday we walked to Seattle Center (in case you don't know Seattle, that's where the Space Needle is and where they have a lot of festivals) for the Northwest Folklife Festival. There's always a bunch of food vendors and a lot of local businesses selling artwork, t-shirts, and various other things. We've purchased prints and t-shirts in the past, but this time we just ate.
 We got smoked turkey tacos and yucca fries. The tacos were pretty dang good. The yucca fries were good, but Michael made baked yucca fries before and not only were they healthier, they actually tasted better. After we split that we walked around a little more and got a chicken wrap at a Mediterranean place. The chicken was sooo good.

We decided we were going to meal prep for the first time this weekend. I was way more excited about this than a normal person should be. Anyway, we planned on going home and hanging out for about an hour then heading to the store. But I was wiped and ended up napping for two hours. Much needed. But look what we found at the store! I've been keeping my eye out for these babies.
I think they're really good. I especially love the marshmallow Oreo creme. We munched on these, popcorn, and kale chips and roasted chickpeas that Michael made while watching the first two Jurassic Park movies in preparation for the new one coming out. I'm totally okay with that kind of dinner. :) (Unfortunately, I didn't know how bad the second Jurassic Park movie was.)

Monday was spent meal-prepping, cleaning, running errands, eating lunch at Folklife (again), and being lazy homebodies. Oh and we watched Jurassic Park III and I liked it waay more than the second--apparently that's not a popular opinion. I'm excited because I only have three (10-hour) days of work, then I'm off for FIVE DAYS! The only problem is how hard it's going to be when my next five day work week rolls around. Ugh.

Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

Linking up with Sweet Little Ones for Tuesday Talk!

 

-Mattie